Author: John Chappell


Aurora Borealis


Besides family members, there are other Instagram accounts I follow, such as iflscience, lightsnature, lovely_earthshotz, iss (Space Station), setiinstitute, starlitlandscapes, nasa, and others. Recently, one of them posted an aurora borealis video that not only blew my mind but brought tears to my eyes. I thought, “If anyone wanted proof there’s a god…” Of course, I know the scientific explanation of how these lights are created. But, the fact that such mesmerizing beauty can result from a few cosmic particles interacting with a few other particles seemed to raise the question, “Why should it be that way?” This reminded me of the old adage about a tree falling in the forest, whether it makes a sound if there’s nobody there to hear it. Would the incredible beauty of the northern lights exist if there was nobody there to see it? If one generalizes from that question to all of the other beauty that exists in nature on our little planet, not to mention the cosmos, perhaps one would discern an answer to the age old question, “Why are we here?” Seems obvious to me at the moment.

China Grade Upgrade

May 17, 2020

Family Matters, General, Memory Lane

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The Covid-19 stay-at-home days have given me a little incentive and a little time to attend to some webmaster things needing attention. Some of my sites still have sections and pages that aren’t “mobile friendly”. One of them was the China Grade Memorial on the Harpshot website. So, this weekend, I upgraded it to hopefully be more usable and more mobile friendly. This involved more use of javascript which used to be criticized but is now mainstream web design practice. I used a free image gallery framework called Galleria. It’s not as satisfying as building web pages from scratch with nothing but a text editor, but I think those days are mostly gone. It still required some webmaster expertise so I didn’t feel like a total ________. Shoot, one thing about getting older is not being able to remember words. So, I’ve taken to using a blank line to hold the place until it comes to me. <sigh>

Spring Freeze

April 4, 2020

General, Life

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A very senior neighbor up the street services and rebuilds lawn mowers. He fixed mine last year when the starter rope disappeared. I had him service it for the upcoming mowing season last weekend, and yesterday gave it a test and mowed the back yard. Some of the grass and weeds were six inches high or more. The old line between “home” and “office” has been wiped away thanks to the virus. I should probably make a work schedule. And then today we awoke to a return of winter, as evidenced by the icicles on the mailbox. There were predictions of freezing rain and drizzle, which mostly didn’t materialize. Temperature was 30 with a wind chill of 19. Since the roads weren’t too slick I made a run downtown to the post office for mail and my office to get a few more things to bring home, but otherwise did office work inside. Sometime the next few days will bring back sunshine and spring, I think. Ah, Kansas. Love it? Leave it? Nah, just tolerate it.



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